Industry Advice 3 May 2020
Nelson Annandale is the Marketing and Business Development Manager at Sinalei Reef Resort in Samoa. Nelson was part of the Pacific delegation that attended PCF's first Maori Pacific Business Forum in June 2019. We spoke to Nelson to give us an update of how he is coping during the COVID-19 outbreak and how it has affected his workplace and the community in Samoa.
Talofa Nelson, how have things been at Sinalei Reef Resort since the Maori Pacific Business Forum?
With the exception of recent epidemics and pandemics impacting our industry, business has been very good. We continue to see encouraging developments and opportunities in our regional tourism sector both from a growth and regional partnership point of view.
How has the COVID-19 affected you and the resort?
At present our borders are closed to international markets and so our day to day operations have been severely impacted. Despite the circumstances, we continue to maintain a positive outlook and actively seek out meaningful opportunities to delight those nearest and dearest to us.
What strategies or coping mechanisms have you put in place to help you through COVID-19?
We have implemented a number of initiatives to keep our Sinalei family smiling and experiences evolving in anticipation for better days ahead.
Initiative 1: Family First
Aiga is the cornerstone of our existence and the meaning in what we do. Hence, though closed to the public we continue to employ our workforce and actively seek out creative means of offering additional support to our collective and their families during these trying times.
Initiative 2: Thrive to Survive
With the help of Business Links Pacific and BDO Accounting Samoa, we have put together a business continuity plan that seeks to deliver us through hardship and prepare us for the exciting developments that await recovery.
Initiative 3: Honest to Goodness
Recognising the need of our wider communities and with the help of local village farmers, we have set about initiating an onsite organic vegetable garden and nursery. The green project seeks to provide additional employment and upskilling opportunities for those most in need, with the exciting possibility of new 'Farm to Plate' experiences and tours for all soon to be visitors.
Initiative 4: Feed the Soul
Here at Sinalei we believe that the real magic lies in the adventure, paying close attenion and showing appreciation for the little things. Hence with the help of our willing family, we have set out to perform the largest '25 Day push-up challenge' in Samoa, to raise awareness about depression, PTSD and anxiety. A little reminder to us all that though times can get tough, together, we can continue to seize our days with a smile.
See our Social pages @sinaleireefresortspa for more
What sort of support has been available for Sinalei Reef Resort during COVID-19?
Government support has sought to buy time for the private sector, but relief packages are yet forth coming.
We continue to persevere with efforts to seek out alternative avenues to better our current situation and prepare us for a recovery that ushers our enterprise and the many communities that are and will be a part of our extended family into a brighter and better future.
How do you see Sinalei Reef Resort moving forward in the future?
We see growth and improvement in the horizon.
The prospects of connectedness that we are currently expressing as a collective amidst challenging times gives us hope and confidence that with proper planning, deeper partnerships and good fortune, we will come out of this experience stronger than ever before.
Top image: Nelson with his mother, Sose Annandale. Imaged sourced from Samoa Observer.
Second image: Director of Sinalei Reef Resort, Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale.